Australian Navy Cadets and Australian Air Force Cadets in Tasmania were honoured last weekend by being granted Freedom of Entry to the City of Launceston – with Australian Army Cadets welcomed to the city.
CAPTION: Australian Navy Cadets march through the streets of Launceston. Photo by Helen Patronis.
Training for this momentous event was made possible by the easing of COVID-19 restrictions, allowing all three camouflage uniforms to parade together for the first time in more than a year.
The following report was provided to CONTACT by cadets staff in Tasmania.
What a weekend for TS HOBART. In their first outing since both reopening in March last year and in the new normal COVID world, the Cadets and Adult members from TS HOBART travelled to Launceston to participate in the Freedom of Entry Parade for the Launceston based Navy and Air Force Cadet units. The local Army cadets received a welcome to the city.
Saturday started with the cadets joining TS DERWENT on HMAS CANBERRA for a ship tour. HMAS CANBERRA’s crew led the 2 units all over the ship pointing out the areas of interest as we went. From the Tank Deck to the Bridge the cadets were able to ask questions and pose with “non restricted” equipment for photos.
Once we left the ship, we said our goodbyes to the TS DERWENT cadets and headed to Launceston. On arrival in Launceston, it was straight into parade practice. Cadets fell into a squad and marched laps of the parade ground to the beat of the drums from the Army Band Tasmania.
Cadets were assigned roles on the parade and rehearsals went on and on, or so said a few cadets.
Following the parade practise, it was off to Patterson Barracks for a BBQ courtesy of the AAFC. Cadets met with their AAFC counterparts and compared stories. We then retired to our accommodation to prepare our uniforms.
Rising early Sunday, we dressed ourselves in our Ceremonial Uniforms. For the cadets and some Adult members, this was the first time that they had worn the uniform. Departing the accommodation, we made our way to Princes Square for the Conferral Ceremony. On the way we stopped at McDonalds for breakfast courtesy of the Kingston Beach RSL.
The ceremony was great, with all 3 cadet forces formed up, colours flying in the breeze. The Launceston Mayor delivered a speech followed by a fitting welcome to country by Aunty Sharon. The National Commanders of the Air Force and Navy Cadets then followed with short speeches.
Finally, at 1030, 508 Squadron AAFC and TS TAMAR received their Freedom of Entry to the City of Launceston and the Army cadets were welcomed to the City.
Cadets, Adult members, and the Army Band Tasmania then moved to the main street to exercise their Freedom of entry.
The cadets them proudly marched with Swords drawn, banners flying, and drums beating accepting the Police challenge on the way back to Patterson Barracks.
Following another BBQ, this time thanks to the Launceston RSL, it was time to jump back in the cars and head back down to Hobart, ending a very busy weekend..